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Dublin: 10°C Saturday 8 May 2021

Richie Power predicts great things for Michael Rice on cruciate return

Rice has endured a torrid two years on the injury front.

Michael Rice before Kilkenny's championship opener with Offaly.
Michael Rice before Kilkenny's championship opener with Offaly.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

MICHAEL RICE WORKED hard to establish himself in Brian Cody’s starting XV.

However, since 2012 the Carrickshock clubman has endured a torrid time injuring his hand in that year’s semi-final before rupturing his cruciate ligament before the start of the 2014 championship.

However, despite many fearing the 30-year old’s inter-county career could be over, his club-mate Richie Power is keen to put those rumours to bed.

“Michael is progressing well. He’ll do everything by the book and I reckon you will see a different Michael Rice next year. That’s the way Michael is and fitness wise there won’t be a question when Michael comes back.

“100%, he’ll definitely be back.”

Jackie Tyrrell, Michael Rice, Richie Power, John Dalton, Eoin Larkin, Tommy Walsh, Richie Hogan and Paul 30/11/2011 Rice and Power together with the likes of Jackie Tyrell and Richie Hogan in 2011. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

As for what people can expect from Rice upon his return, Power is bullish:

“Obviously, look, he hasn’t hurled in so long it’s going to take a while to get back into the swing of things, but I think when he does I’d say you could see a different Michael Rice when he comes back.

“He was having an unbelievable couple of years at one stage, but with the hand injury, which was a really, really bad injury to pick up, he got himself back right and then, unfortunately, just on a training day up at Carton House the knee popped.

“He kind of knew it himself but he was holding out hope that it wasn’t. I remember talking to him on the sideline and it didn’t feel too bad, so he was hopeful. One or two of the guys kind of knew from the way he landed or the way it happened, that it was gone.

“Michael, in fairness, even with the cruciate gone, he was such an inspiration, inside in the panel, he was there every night, he was looking at the way training was going and if guys needed advice or anything like that he was there. He was top class on that side of things.

“A good few of the guys have come back from a cruciate, it’s not easy, it’s a horrendous injury, it’s one I hope I never get, touch wood.

“Knowing Michael I think he will come back stronger than ever.”

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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